Today we mourn the passing of an old friend, Common Sense. Born on January 10, 1776, his true legacy and impact on America was lost long ago in bureaucratic red tape. Since the mid 1700s, petty rules, silly laws and frivolous lawsuits held no power over Common Sense.
Common Sense was credited with cultivating such valued lessons as: to know when to come in out of the rain, the early bird gets the worm, and life isn’t always fair. Common Sense selflessly devoted his life to service in schools, hospitals, homes, factories and offices, helping folks get jobs done without fanfare and foolishness.
Common Sense is dead
Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you earn), reliable parenting strategies (adults are in charge, not kids), and adages such as “it’s okay to come in second.” A veteran of the Industrial Revolution, the Great Depression, and the Technological Revolution, Common Sense survived cultural and educational trends including feminism, body piercing, whole language and “new math.”
But his health declined when he became infected with the “if-it-only-helps-one-person-it’s-worth-it” virus. In recent decades his waning strength proved no match for the ravages of overbearing federal regulation. Common Sense watched in pain as good people became ruled by self-seeking lawyers and enlightened auditors.
The health of Common Sense rapidly deteriorated when schools endlessly implemented zero-tolerance policies, reports made of six-year-old boys charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate, a teen suspended for taking a swig of mouthwash after lunch, and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student. The health of Common Sense declined even further when schools had to get parental consent to administer aspirin to a student but cannot inform the parent when the female student is pregnant or wants an abortion.
Finally, Common Sense lost his will to live as the Ten Commandments became contraband, churches became businesses, criminals received better treatment than victims, and federal judges stuck their noses in everything from Boy Scouts to professional sports.
Common Sense was preceded in death by his parents Truth and Trust; his wife, Discretion; his daughter, Responsibility; and his son, Reason. He is survived by three stepbrothers: Rights, Tolerance, and Whiner. Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.
~ This Obit for Common Sense appeared in 2001 in Koinonia House